I used to be obsessed with comic books as a child. When we weren't playing soccer, me and my friends would ride our bikes to the city library where we'd spend the day reading their gigantic collection, and then take an average of 12 back home with us twice a week. Asterix, Les Tuniques Bleues, Chick Bill, Iznogoud, Thorgal, Achille Talon...all amazing series which I have to thank for my excellent proficiency in the french language. The library also had several movies the public was free to watch, including this one, one of my absolute favorites. I had forgotten all about it until I recently caught it on television while channel jumping...the wave of memories it stirred up at the moment made me cry, I'm not embarassed to say it.
This one-hour cartoon movie unites both the Les Schtroumpfs (the Smurfs) series and the Johan Et Pirlouit series, both by belgian comic book immortal Peyo. Pirlouit, the lovable midget prankster, gets his hand on a magical flute made by les schtroumpfs that forces whoever listens to its melody to dance uncontrollably. You can imagine what he does with it :) However he makes the mistake of demonstrating its power in front of Torchesac, a wandering traveller spending the night in the castle, who subsequently steals it and uses it to rob people by making them dance until they pass out of fatigue. Now Johan and Pirlouit must get it back at all costs, so they head to the magical kingdom of les schtroumpfs to ask for their help.
This movie is extremely old so the animation isn't up to par with what you see today, however it has something today's cartoons don't have: great humor and excellent dialogue. C'est inoui, halfway through the movie I couldn't help but feel pity for today's kids who grow up on cartoons where the dialogue is dumbed down as much as possible, or made cookie-cutter in the sense that there MUST be a moral lesson in the end. It's like they were americanized. This movie isn't like that, the dialogue contains vocabulary and sentence syntax of high level, it feels exactly like reading french comics.
The music is great as well, highlights are the "flute fight" between Pirlouit and Torchesac and the song "Un Petit Schtroumpf", which is probably one of the best musicals moments in film.
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